The local music community has been grieving of late.
Tonight, there will be a celebratory memorial service (Feb. 22) at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for the much-beloved local musician, Jay Moritz, who recently passed away after a two-year battle with melanoma. The event starts at 7:30 p.m.
His wife Elizabeth, with whom he ran the Seven Hills Studio Salon in Church Hill, told me on Saturday that the memorial will feature a professionally edited video of a live performance by Moritz’s former group, Snack Truck.
"We hope to begin the tradition of donating towards cancer research in Jay's honor with a party celebrating his life," she says, noting that they will have a merchandise table of buttons, tapes, t-shirts, and posters, all given in exchange for donations towards Massey Cancer Center.
The festivities also include dinner, provided by generous donations from Richmond's finest dining establishments, a DJ spinning exclusively from Jay's vinyl collection, an open-mic hour, an interactive shrine, Photo Booth, possibly kittens for adoption ("not my idea, but Jay would love that, so I let it slide" she says) and the aforementioned video premiere. "For those who can't make it in person, the event will be live streamed," she says.
To continue his legacy, a non-profit record label, Moritz Music, is on course to set up it's home base. A portion of the proceeds, again, would go towards cancer research.
To stay up to date with the progress of all things Jay including live streaming of this party, please visit www.gentlemanjay.org.
And if you missed the obituary that ran about Moritz, here it is:
"Ladies and Sirs, May we now present to you the late Gentleman Jay Moritz in permanent form. We know you are going to like him. He is a jolly fellow, one of those rare individuals, everlastingly young, a distinct personality and famous throughout the land for his sterling qualities and genuine good fellowship. His friends number in the millions- those who are great and those who are near great as you and I. He is jovial and ever ready to accept the difficult role of "Life of the Party," a sympathetic friend who may be relied upon in any emergency. Follow his advice and there will be many pleasant times in store for you."